A passion project ports Nintendo’s Super Mario 64 to Apple TV, running at 60fps

Someone has managed to port Nintendo’s classic Super Mario 64 over to tvOS, with the game running on Apple TV at 60 frames per second. Here’s how to download and install a tvOS port of Super Mario 64 on your own Apple set-top box.

An icon on the tvOS home screen representing the unofficial port of Nintendo's classic video game Super Mario 64 on Apple TV


  • A guy creates a port of the 1996 Nintendo classic Super Mario 64 for tvOS
  • Based on a Github project that makes the game playable on the web
  • Not sanctioned by Apple: Don’t bother looking for it on App Store

How to install the unofficial port of Super Mario 64 on Apple TV

The achievement wouldn’t be possible without the Super Mario 64 GitHub project that created a playable version of the game for browsers using web technologies. A Reddit user has now used it as a basis for an iOS port, and now a tvOS port of Super Mario 64 as well. He even made some code tweaks in terms of usability on tvOS.

According to the poster’s own words, his port of the game is capable of running on Apple TV in fullscreen mode, smoothly at sixty frames per second.

The original decompilation/PC port (not made by me), I would assume took years just by looking at the amount of work put into it. The initial iOS port I made took probably a week to get up and running on iOS and a couple more weeks to get things like touch controls and the main menu working. Then since then I’ve been making small improvements like external display support, a touch controls rewrite, etc. And finally this tvOS port took about 2 days thanks to the similarities between tvOS and iOS and about a week to get the user interface and tvOS-specific features working.

For those wondering, this is a native tvOS app. The project uses no emulation whatsoever thanks to the sm64 decompilation project and sm64ex. This is all against Apple’s rules guiding tvOS development, meaning you won’t find this Super Mario port on App Store.

To install Super Mario 64 on your Apple TV, use side loading, a term you’ve been hearing about over and over again during the Epic Games vs. Apple trial. Start by grabbing Xcode from App Store then create a developer account on the Apple Developer website.

Next, download the source files from GitHub.

All that’s left now is to build the project from the GitHub source using Xcode on your Mac (you may want to follow the build instructions in the included wiki). Don’t forget to switch your build target to tvOS rather than iOS. If all goes well, you should have a tvOS app built on your Mac. Then, Use Apple Configurator to copy the app over to your Apple TV.

You will need to provide you own copy of Super Mario 64 to extract assets from.